Had a really good night at the Scottish Book Trust showcase event in Edinburgh. It was great to get a chance to hear the other readers especially the fiction writers who all read so grippingly well that I can't wait for all of their stories, books to come out. I also got to meet and chat with some of this year's New Writers Awardees which was really nice. The Scottish Book Trust produced a great little book with a selection of writing from all of us plus a page of info we wrote ourselves about our writing. You can download the online version of the book for free here.
Here's what I wrote about about Tree Language -
The poems in my first full-length collection, which I’ve been working on over this last year, fall into four distinct sections which I only became aware of when putting the collection together; though the same, generally dark, themes are carried through each section.
My main interest in writing these poems was to explore themes of love, death, sometimes violence and how they are played out, reflected in and contrasted against the backdrop of nature and the landscape the poems are set in. I also have a tendency towards the surreal.
Many of my poems begin from observations in the natural world: the shape of a tree and its shadow, the sun on the back of the Clyde, the flowering orchid on my windowsill. I find that through examining the physical details of nature I’m able to gain a level of distance and objectivity which allows me to explore broader human and personal themes.
The focus on nature also enables me to sidestep the confines of narrative logic, tap into the unconscious dream – like processes but at the same time stay rooted in the physical, tangible world.The next event is StAnza. I'm reading on the Saturday as part of the Scottish Booktrust Showcase. There are four of us reading so we get fifteen minutes each. I'm only able to get to St Andrews by the Friday night so I'm gutted to be missing Sujata Bhatt and Brian Turner reading. However I have booked tickets and will finally get the chance to hear John Burnside which I'm incredibly excited about and also the masterclass with Paul Muldoon.
My next mentoring meeting with Vicki Feaver is the week after Stanza, I have four poems ready for it so far which I'm pleased about. Really working hard to expand my writing and I feel hopeful that these poems are doing just that.